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Jane Eyre was originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography on October 16, 1847. The book is narrated from the perspective of the title character, starting from her emotionally abused life in Gateshead to living in Ferndean as a wife. It explores her views on Christian morality, feminism, and social class, and her endeavors to keep her individuality.
See the fact file below for more information on the Jane Eyre or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Jane Eyre worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
CHARLOTTE BRONTE’S LIFE
- Charlotte Bronte was born on April 21, 1816, in Thornton, Yorkshire, England.
- She was the sister of Anne Bronte, author of Agnes Grey and Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights.
- She was a writer all her life. She published Jane Eyre in 1847 under the male pseudonym Currer Bell.
- Unlike her sisters, she got married when she was 38 years old to her father’s curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls, in 1854.
- When she got pregnant, she became sick. She died in 1855 after nine months of marriage.
- Jane Eyre – the protagonist and narrator of the story. She ends up in Gateshead after her parents die. Mrs. Reed was compelled to keep her as a promise to her late husband, the brother of Jane’s mother.
- Edward Rochester – the master of Thornfield where Jane Eyre works as a governess. Mr. Rochester was married to a madwoman, Bertha Mason. Both Mason and Rochester’s families arranged their marriage.
- However, Rochester was also captivated by her beauty.
- Sarah Reed – Jane’s aunt, who oppressed her. She did not regret her behavior to Jane until her death.
- Bessie – a Gateshead servant and Jane’s only confidant there.
- Mr. Brocklehurst – Lowood School headmaster. He runs Lowood according to his own strict concept of Christianity.
- Helen Burns – Jane’s friend in Lowood School who is committed to living according to what is taught of the Christian doctrine.
- Bertha Mason – the crazy wife Rochester hides in the attic.
- Mrs. Fairfax – the head of the servants in Thornfield. She runs the
- Adelle – the young girl in Thornfield who Jane is tutoring. Rochester refused to acknowledge as her daughter, despite the French actress he had relations with, declaring this. He still adopted her.
- Grace Poole – the attendant of Bertha Mason. She becomes the scapegoat whenever Bertha does something violent.
- Blanche Ingram – one of the houseguests and rumored would-be fiancé of Mr. Rochester, who he uses to get Jane jealous and acknowledge her feelings for him.
- Mr. Mason – brother of Bertha Mason. He stops Jane and Rochester’s wedding and reveals that the latter is already married.
- St. John Rivers – together with his sisters, they adopt Jane after she leaves Thornfield. He is cold, clinical, and also devoted to God.
- Diana and Mary Rivers – they help Jane when she passes out because of hunger.
- Mr. John Eyre Rivers – uncle of Jane Eyre, who was looking for her in Gateshead intending to adopt her.
- Jane Eyre is an orphan girl being raised by her aunt, Mrs. Reed, in Gateshead. Her aunt kept her as a promise to her late husband.
- She suffered from emotional abuse from her aunt and cousins. The family’s apothecary suggested sending Jane to a boarding school instead.
- Jane was excited at that prospect. She met Mr. Brocklehurst, Lowood School headmaster, and after two months, he brought Jane to the school.
- The school had unpleasant living conditions as Mr. Brocklehurst spent the school’s budget on luxuries to teach the students to live humbly.
- She met Helen Burns, a kind-hearted young girl who believes that suffering and privation is according to Christian doctrine. Jane argues that it is a total injustice, but Helen continues with her belief.
- A typhus outbreak occurred in the school. Helen got sick but with consumption and not typhus.
- Jane visited Helen when she found out about her critical condition.
- Helen told her that she was happy leaving this world as she did not have the qualities to live well and avoid the suffering she would likely endure.
- The Education board discovered how Mr. Brocklehurst handled the typhus outbreak, and later his corruption. The board sacked him.
- Under the new headmaster, the Lowood School became so much better to live in. Jane stayed for eight more years, six as a student and two as a teacher, before she decided that she needed more adventure.
- She accepted the governess position at Thornfield.
- Mrs. Fairfax welcomed her at Thornfield and was introduced to Adelle, the young French girl she would be tutoring.
- She found her stay pleasant. After several days, Mr. Rochester came back home. They kept engaging in comfortable conversation, and as the days passed, she realized she had feelings for him.
- One night, after hearing a maniacal laugh, she saw that Mr. Rochester’s room was on fire. She threw water on him to wake him up.
- He agreed with Jane that it was one of the servants, Grace Poole, who started the fire. She was puzzled why the fire did not cause any ill-feeling in the household the next day.
- She learned that Mr. Rochester was about to be engaged to Ms. Blanche Ingram and would be visiting Thornfield soon. Mr. Rochester insisted that Jane must be present at every gathering at Thornfield.
- A certain Mr. Mason crashes one of the gatherings at Thornfield. Later that night, Jane woke from commotion coming from the hallway. Mr. Rochester asked for her help to stop the bleeding Mr. Mason incurred while fetched a doctor.
- Jane went to Gateshead after learning that her aunt suffered a stroke and her cousin, John, committed suicide. Mrs. Reed showed her a letter from her uncle, Mr. John Eyre. She answered his letter message right away.
- She came back to Thornfield after two months. Mr. Rochester asked her if the carriage he bought would suit the future Mrs. Rochester, making her think that it was Blanche Ingram.
- Jane confessed her true feelings, and after an emotional confesion of love from both of them, Mr. Rochester proposed to her.
- As Jane anticipated her wedding, she also had doubts as she had no money to offer and would likely be sacrificing her independence. But every time Rochester showered her with affection, she tried to forget her doubts.
- The day of the wedding came. During the ceremony, someone objected, citing that Mr. Rochester was already married to Mr. Mason’s sister.
- Mr. Rochester was forced to come clean. He gathered everyone in Thornfield and introduced them to his mad wife, Bertha Mason.
- Mr. Rochester asked for Jane’s forgiveness which she immediately gave, but she still decided that she could not be his mistress for her morality would be stake.
- Jane traveled for a while, starving and destitute. She passed out while asking for food. The Rivers siblings brought her home. St. John helped Jane find a teaching job in a charity school.
- While Diana and Mary went back to their job as governesses, St. John and Jane became more acquainted. St. John discovered that he and his siblings and Jane were related to Mr. John Eyre, making them cousins.
- Jane inherited 20,000 pounds, which she decided to divide between the four of them.
- St. John convinced Jane to go with him to India and be his wife. She consented to go to India but refused his marriage proposal.
- St. John persistently asked her to marry him and to consider it as her duty to God.
- She was about to give in when she heard someone sorrowfully calling her name. Thinking that it was Mr. Rochester, she headed to Thornfield.
- She saw Thornfield in ashes. She found out that Bertha set the house on fire and died doing it. Mr. Rochester lost his sight and hand saving the servants and trying to get Bertha.
- He was now living in Ferndean with two elderly servants to assist him.
- Jane went to him. When Mr. Rochester found out that she was there, he hugged her and Jane promised never to leave him.
- Mr. Rochester and Jane married without any witness. Jane narrates that she is writing the story ten years after their wedding. They live as equals, and after a few years, Mr. Rochester gained sight in one eye, enabling him to see their firstborn child.
THEMES IN JANE EYRE
- Injustice, suffering, and hypocrisy are driven by religion in this book. Mr. Brocklehurst, Helen Burns, and St. John represent the dangers of religion.
- Mr. Brocklehurst’s teachings of Evangelicalism at Lowood School consist of privations and extreme modesty. Cutting a girl’s curls to teach them about vanity and making Jane stand on a stool to teach self-discipline are examples. He also spends the money meant for Lowood School to sustain his luxurious life. The hypocrisy is evident.
- Helen Burns believes in his teachings, causing her to accept every punishment and cruelty against her as part of living the Christian doctrine.
- St. John has a different belief. Also a devoted Christian, he views religion as worthy of sacrifice. He proposes to Jane, urging her to sacrifice her emotions and be the wife of a minister is her moral duty. He is forcing Jane to be someone she is not as part of his religious belief.
- SOCIAL STATUS
- Jane’s reluctance to marry Mr. Rochester centers on her being penniless and indebted to him. As a paid employee, she is still as good as a servant. The luxurious things Mr. Rochester gave her highlights the things she does not have.
- In the end, she mentions that she and Mr. Rochester are married and live as equals. The inheritance she receives from her uncle and Mr. Rochester’s condition where he needs her more than he needs him makes them equal for her.
- LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE
- Jane’s quest for love, not only romantic love, is documented in the entire book.
- She left Gateshead to seek love at Lowood. Luckily she found love and acceptance with Helen and Lowood after Mr. Brocklehurst was sacked.
- She stayed and taught at Lowood but decided to leave when Ms. Temple got married.
- She then found love again in the Thornfield household, especially in Mr. Rochester. But when she discovered that he was still married, she weighed up what was more important for her. Her pride and dignity won.
- When she met the Rivers siblings, she started to be content with acceptance. She left romantic love at Thornfield and did not intend to rekindle it anywhere.
- She declined when St. John proposed to her because she did not want to be in a loveless marriage. He was offering her a life that she could consider as her duty to God.
- She later realized that she did not want to live a life like St. John, detached from emotion. She returned to Mr. Rochester, and after learning about what happened to him, promised to be by his side.
- GENDER EQUALITY
- The men in Jane’s life tried to alter her principles and beliefs for their own gain.
- The rules Mr. Brocklehurst made at Lowood School tried to change Jane’s principles and ideals.
- St. John tried to force Jane to marry him by viewing it as her moral duty, and she almost accepted.
- Mr. Rochester tried to shower Jane with gifts while Jane was having doubts about the inequality of their marriage.
- He tried to convince her to disregard her principles and run away with him to live as husband and wife even though he was still married to Bertha.
- These prove the consistent presence of patriarchy in the novel. Jane Eyre’s character stands out as her autonomy remains intact throughout the book.
Jane Eyre Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Jane Eyre across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Jane Eyre worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Jane Eyre which was originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography on October 16, 1847. The book is narrated from the perspective of the title character, starting from her emotionally abused life in Gateshead to living in Ferndean as a wife. It explores her views on Christian morality, feminism, and social class, and her endeavors to keep her individuality.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Jane Eyre Facts
- Charlotte Bronte Facts
- Jane’s Influencers
- Helen Burns
- The Woman in the Attic
- Facts from Jane Eyre
- Quotes to Ponder
- Jane’s Journey
- Jane and Heathcliff
- The Most Moving Part
- Jane Eyre: A Summary
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Use With Any Curriculum
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